Self Sowing Coleus in the Garden

I love surprises in the garden.  Plants that pop up where you least expect them - unfortunately those are usually called "WEEDS."  Sometimes though we find plants of value that pop up.  Here are a few pictures of some self-sown coleus plants that came up in my front garden this year.  I grow coleus (Solenostemon scutellarioides) every year but have started growing it from seed myself rather than buying it at a nursery.  I save the seed each fall and sow the coleus from what I have collected.  I only collect from the coleus that impresses me in some way.  I collect seeds from plants that either have a unique shape, color, or large leaf size.

The leaves on this coleus are very large.  Possible 6 inches wide on the largest leaves and about 8 inches long.  The coloration is good too.  Just a little lime green on the leaf edges but mostly the red-orange tint throughout the leaf.  The veining is a darker shade of red.

This one is mostly green with some interesting variegation in the center of the leaves.  You can see a slight pink central vein down the middle.

Growing Coleus

Coleus needs very little care once established.  It need regular watering in the dry months but bounces back quickly if it gets too dry.  Pinch back the leaves to make bushier plants.  Quite pinching later in the season to allow it to set seed for collecting or sowing.  Most coleus likes shade but newer hybrids are developing a tolerance to increased sunlight.  Coleus is a perennial in tropical locations but in most places must be grown as an annual, houseplant, or as a movable potted perennial you can bring indoors when cold weather comes.

Please excuse the weeds for now.  With the daily doses of August rain we have weeds everywhere!